Just got back from France having spent a day or two with a small but perfectly formed team of engineers from RenaultSport.

I could tell you what I was doing but, unfortunately, then I’d have to kill you. Or, more to the point, they would have to kill me.

All I can say right now is that I spent an extremely interesting day howling round Nogaro race track – just outside Toulouse – helping to develop a car that will be launched, hopefully, at Geneva next year to then go on sale in July 2008. And if it happens (it has yet to be fully green lighted) it will blow your mind clean in two.

Here’s a clue: it has two seats, one turbocharger, seven gears and one very simple purpose in life: to be categorically the most exciting road car the company has ever produced.

Almost as revealing as the job itself was the journey there and back, executed in ‘my’ long term Megane R26. It was the first time I’d done a really long, fast stint in the car, and I have to say it turned out to be a breeze. A pleasure, in fact, for all sorts of reasons.

One, the R26 is actually a much nicer companion on smooth French autoroutes than it is on our lumpen UK motorways (isn’t that always the case when you travel in France?).